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ISPs asked to unplug Napster cloners

US music industry puts pen to paper

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A trade group for the US recording industry is targeting ISPs in its latest bid to rid the world of Napster-style devilry.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sent around 75 letters to ISPs this week, accusing them of infringing music copyrights, according to Newsbytes. It reckons Napster clones should be stopped, and that one way to do it is for ISPs to pull the plug on users' high bandwidth lines.

The "open Napster" services use software such as Napigator or FileNavigator to allow surfers to exchange their favourite music. They have no contact with Napster, but are operated privately via high speed Internet access lines, such as ADSL, on home computers.

"We request that you immediately remove or block access to the infringing material offered via this server," the letters to the ISPs state. "In addition, we wish to inform the operator of this server about the illegality of his or her conduct and confirm with the RIAA, in writing, that this activity has ceased."

The RIAA reckons that between 20 and 30 ISPs have already complied with the request, be it out of fear or agreement.

"It's not even crossing our servers, it's crossing the Internet. We're providing bandwidth to somebody, like a cable modem," a manager at a California-based ISP, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from the RIAA, told Newsbytes. "It's a bit like calling the phone company and saying that one of your customers is making phone calls and telling secrets about everybody, so we want you to turn off his phone service." ®

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